I have a question that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I think it would probably be a good idea to get an actual consensus on the matter for once—
The topic is villain romance and sexual content
– and where and how I can/should draw the line.
As I see it, there are three common ways I could structure this:
- The common way is that both the player and MC consent to the content. This does not leave much room for a darker villain to be villainous to MC, but it keeps everything very non-problematic.
- This version I’ve seen more in literature, but it’s, for example, that the MC thinks, “I want this but I can’t bring myself to say it” / “I feel conflicted yet drawn to this”—so that it does not give the villain informed consent, but MC is at least somewhat positive to the situation internally. Another example could be that MC expresses doubts and conflicting feelings out loud to the villain, or the MC has severe power imbalances in the situation, and yet the villain goes forward.
- This one only works in interactive media, but it’s where the player chooses either the action of the villain to act, or the situation to occur (in some way). It could be as simple as a choice: “they kiss you”,—which says nothing of the MCs previous or afterwards feelings on the matter. But it could also be something that leads up to the situation, with implied warnings.
Which are you okay with?
- 1. Both player and MC consent to all content
- 2. MC consents but does not explicitly or traditionally do so
- 3. The player consents, but the MC does not / or is conflicted
Additionally, how far is too far?
I don’t think personally I would want to write a sex scene with (2) and (3), but what I had in mind was:
Sexual touching and attempt at kissing with dubious consent
(For a darker romance route)
Romantic touching, light cheek kiss, stroking of face/hair even if unwanted by Mc.
(For the lighter, softer one)
- Knowing something like this is in the game makes me feel uneasy / I won’t play game
- I like the idea of the content
- I don’t care either way it’s in the game or not
- I wasn’t going to play the game, but if it has this, I want to
I just feel like… if I have a villain romance, but they can’t do villainy things to the MC, even if its just a little, won’t that feel fake? Additionally, the 1800s concept of consent might realistically be not so detailed and well-understood. I think if I felt this topic was completely off-limits, the “truth” of the character or scene might suffer.
There is also one issue with (1) that… well, in my game, I can’t have the MC be fully onboard with the villain, at least not mid-game. There would need to be some conflicting emotions at least—but that harbours into the area of dubious consent. And then it gets tricky.
Anyway—I want to get yalls opinions on this topic, as I feel like some might feel this whole game becomes a thing to avoid and even dislike because this is even (optional) content. Does anyone feel that way?
(I will, of course, also have general TWs related to this, but I’m not sure there’s a way to fully safeguard against possibly seeing the choices related to this, for example.)
Additionally, there are a few topics of consent and TW I can’t get into, because of story spoilers. But if you tell me your thoughts on the matter in general terms, It might help me be able to make a decision from that